GRAHAM ZUSI SCORES FOR U.S. MNT IN 4-0 WIN OVER COSTA RICA
Sporting KC winger Graham Zusi and the United States Men's National Team claimed an emphatic 4-0 victory over Costa Rica on Tuesday to take destiny back into their own hands in Group A of Copa America Centenario. Zusi rounded out the scoring in the 87th minute at Soldier Field in Chicago, tallying his fifth U.S. goal in 37 international appearances. His club teammate Matt Besler was an unused substitute in Tuesday's contest between CONCACAF rivals.
In desperate need of three points after a tournament-opening loss to Colombia, the U.S. exploded for a trio of goals in the first half, ultimately delivering Costa Rica its heaviest defeat since January 2014. Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones and Bobby Wood each found the back of the net before the break, while Zusi added a fourth after coming on in the 70th minute.
Jurgen Klinsmann's side moves into the top two of Group A with its group stage finale on the horizon. The United States and Paraguay will meet at 6 p.m. CT Saturday with a spot in the Copa America Centenario quarterfinals up for grabs. The match will be televised live from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on FS1, Univision and Univision Deportes. (Full story)
SPORTING KC DELIVERS HISTORIC DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCE IN DRAW AT LA
Sporting KC battled LA Galaxy to a 0-0 draw last Thursday night at StubHub Center, snapping the club’s two-game losing skid ahead of the Copa America Centenario break. LA Galaxy entered the contest leading MLS with 27 goals, including 18 in six games at StubHub Center. However, Sporting KC held the hosts to a single shot the entire game, tied for the fewest in a regular season match in MLS history. (Full story)
Sporting KC does not play this week as the 2016 Major League Soccer season takes a two-week break for the Copa America Centenario. Manager Peter Vermes' men will return to the field next Wednesday, June 15, beginning their Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title defense at Minnesota United FC (NASL).
IKE OPARA AND JIMMY MEDRANDA NAMED TO MLS TEAM OF THE WEEK
Sporting KC center back Ike Opara and outside back Jimmy Medranda were named to the MLSsoccer.com Team of the Week last Friday following a 0-0 draw at LA Galaxy the previous night. Opara anchored a back line that limited LA to a single shot, the fewest in a match in MLS regular season history, while adding six clearances and three recoveries. Medranda contributed to the shutout from the left back position while recording four shot attempts (two on goal), a game-high eight interceptions and seven recoveries. (Full story)
SWOPE PARK RANGERS TO HOST BARK IN THE PARK TONIGHT AT SWOPE
The Swope Rangers (3-5-2, 11 points) will play two games in the United Soccer League this week, first hosting Rio Grande Valley (5-2-4, 19 points) at 7:30 p.m. CT tonight at Children's Mercy Victory Field at Swope Soccer Village. Tickets can be secured via Ticketmaster.com, by calling 888-4KC-GOAL, or at the stadium box office.
In conjunction with tonight's match, the Rangers will host Bark at the Park, presented by the KC Pet Project. Supporters are invited to bring their dog(s) to the game by taking advantage of a $22 ticket package that includes entry for one ticket holder and one canine companion, portable pet bowls, a commemorative poster and more. Visit SportingKC.com for more details.
The Rangers will then hit the road to meet Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (6-1-4, 22 points) at 4 p.m. CT Sunday at UBC Thunderbird Stadium. Both matches this week will be streamed live on SportingKC.com.
SECOND ANNUAL SPORTING KC DAY AT THE ZOO SET FOR SATURDAY
Sporting KC and the Kansas City Zoo are teaming up to provide a soccer-themed experience on Saturday in Swope Park, just minutes from the team’s Swope Soccer Village training facility. Fans are encouraged to join Sporting KC players Chance Myers, Benny Feilhaber, Seth Sinovic and Brad Davis for the second annual Sporting KC Day at the Zoo. Tickets to the event are available online at kansascityzoo.org or at the Kansas City Zoo gates. Guests who wear Sporting KC apparel Saturday will receive $1 off the price of admission.
A new event will kick off this year’s activities as the Rare Experience Walk benefits rare disease patients and the Victory Project. The walk begins at 9 a.m. CT across from the Swope Park Bandstand. Free and open to the public, the walk wraps up next to the Kansas City Zoo entrance as the fun transitions inside with a full day of activities planned for attendees of all ages. (Full details)
"YOGA ON THE PITCH" SET FOR TONIGHT AT CHILDREN'S MERCY PARK
The Victory Project will host its "Yoga on the Pitch" fundraising event tonight from 7-8 p.m. CT at Children's Mercy Park. The 60-minute, all-levels yoga class will take place on the field to help raise funds for the Victory Project. Select Sporting KC players will also participate in the class and hold an autograph session afterwards. Open to those aged 11 and up, Yoga on the Pitch costs $50 and includes the yoga class, a tank top and the chance to win prizes courtesy of Sporting KC and other companies. Visit yoga.victorykc.org for more information.
AWAY TICKET REQUESTS NOW OPEN FOR MATCH IN MINNESOTA ON JUNE 15
Away ticket requests are now available for Sporting KC's fourth round Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match at Minnesota United FC on June 15. Supporters can request tickets until Thursday at SKCAwayTickets.com by clicking here.
The fourth round Open Cup tilt is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. CT at National Sports Center in Blaine, Minnesota. Sporting KC enters the competition as reigning Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup champions and begins its title defense against Minnesota United FC of the North American Soccer League (Division II). (More info)
BeerKC AND SPORTING KC PRESENT SIXTH ANNUAL WESTPORT BEER FESTIVAL
BeerKC and Sporting Kansas City present the Sixth Annual Westport Beer Festival, a tribute to craft beers. The event returns to historic Westport on Saturday from 5-9 p.m. CT on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of McCoy's Public House and is a benefit for AIDS Walk Kansas City. This year's event will feature appearances by Sporting KC players Tim Melia, Roger Espinoza, Seth Sinovic and Ike Opara. Visit beerkc.com/westportbeerfest for tickets and more information.
RANGERS FALL 2-1 TO PORTLAND TIMBERS 2
The Swope Park Rangers suffered a 2-1 defeat to Portland Timbers 2 last Saturday at Rocky Mountain High School in Meridian, Idaho. Goals from Neco Brett and Victor Arboleda put Tmbers 2 in a commanding lead before rookie Mark Anthony Gonzalez scored his first professional goal to pull a goal back as the game finished 2-1. (Full story)
SPORTING KC U-16S AND U-18S BOUND FOR USSDA PLAYOFFS
With the 2015-16 U.S. Soccer Development Academy regular season in the books, the Sporting KC Academy U-16s and U-18s can set their sights on the playoffs. For the first time in Sporting KC Academy history, both the U-16s and U-18s have qualified for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs in the same year. The annual tournament runs from June 22-26 at Toyota Park in Frisco, Texas, featuring elite youth prospects and the top youth clubs from across the country.
The U-16s claimed an emphatic 5-0 victory over Colorado Rush on Sunday at Swope Soccer Village, securing their playoff berth as a top-three finisher in the Central Conference’s Frontier Division. The U-18s tied Colorado Rush 1-1 on Sunday and have a wildcard spot in the USSDA Playoffs after finishing fourth in the Frontier Division. (Full story)
The draw to determine group assignments in the USSDA Playoffs will be announced via @ussoccer_acad today on Twitter, during which time the U-16s and U-18s will learn their opponents for the tournament's group stage.
SPORTING KC U-13S AND U-15S WIN KANSAS STATE CUP
Two Sporting KC Academy sides were crowned Kansas State Cup champions this week as the U-15s and U-13s (in the U-14 age group) came out on top at Overland Park Soccer Complex. In doing so, both teams have qualified to play at the 2016 U.S. Youth Soccer Region II Championships from June 24-29 at Grand Park Sports Complex in Westfield, Indiana. Follow @SKCAcademy on Twitter for updates this month as the U-13s, U-15s, U-16s and U-18s battle for national championships.
ENTER THE WESTLAKE ACE HARDWARE ALL-STAR PATIO SWEEPSTAKES
Sporting KC is teaming up with Westlake Ace Hardware in June for the All-Star Patio Sweepstakes. One entrant will win Sporting KC merchandise, tickets to an upcoming match and a variety of patio essentials. Fans can enter the sweepstakes and learn more at SportingKC.com/westlakepatio.
SPORTING KC FANS CAN ENTER TO WIN A FREE TRIP TO PORTLAND
Fans can visit amfam.com/sportingkc to enter the sweepstakes for a free, all-inclusive trip to see Sporting KC play at the Portland Timbers on Aug. 7. The winner will receive airfare for four, Sporting KC gear, four game tickets to the Sporting KC vs. Portland Timbers match, a $1,000 bank card, and two hotel rooms for two nights in close proximity to Providence Park. (Register here)
NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR BLUE KC SPORTING SAMARITANS
Sporting KC and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City have teamed up this season to recognize Blue KC Sporting Samaritans, honoring individuals who make the Kansas City community a better place to live. Once a month, a Samaritan will be recognized on the pitch at Children's Mercy Park before a Sporting KC home game. Supporters can nominate members of their community to be the next Blue KC Sporting Samaritan by sharing their first-person experience with the nominee at SportingKC.com/bluekc.
FOLLOW SPORTING KC
For news, photographs and instant updates throughout the 2016 season, follow Sporting KC on its Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat (sportingkc) accounts and visit the club's social media page.